06MOSCOW4374, ZIMBABWEAN TRADE DELEGATION VISITS RUSSIA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW4374 2006-04-24 13:53 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO2628
RR RUEHMR RUEHPA
DE RUEHMO #4374 1141353
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 241353Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4754
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 004374 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/23/2016 
TAGS: PREL ETRD ZI RS
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN TRADE DELEGATION VISITS RUSSIA 
 
 
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Kirk Augustine for reasons 
1.4 (b, d). 
 
1.  (C)  Poloff met with MFA Africa Department Counselors 
Mikhail Gulyakin and Andrey Stolyarov April 21 to discuss the 
April 3-13 visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg of Zimbabwean 
Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Transport Minister 
Chris Mushohwe to promote Russian investment in Zimbabwe. 
Gulyakin and Stolyarov characterized the visit as "mostly for 
show" and said that few concrete results were achieved.  They 
said that the impetus for the trade delegation came 
completely from the Zimbabwean side.  After failing to secure 
IMF loans last month, Governor Gono is coping with Zimbabwe's 
deep economic crisis by seeking investment from other 
sources.  Gulyakin and Stolyarov said that Russia's USD 20 
million in trade with Zimbabwe was unlikely to grow to rival 
that of Zimbabwe's largest trading partner, China.  Queried 
about GOR policy toward Zimbabwean officials, they saw no 
reason why Russia would avoid contact with a government that 
was no more autocratic than "the norm in Africa." 
 
2.  (C)  While in Moscow, Governor Gono and Minister Mushohwe 
met with their respective counterparts in the Russian 
government, Central Bank Head Sergey Ignatiev and Transport 
Minister Igor Levitin.  Gulyakin and Stolyarov said Gono did 
not raise the possibility of loans from Russia in his meeting 
with Ignatiev since he knew that the GOR would not likely 
find Zimbabwe creditworthy.  Gono also met with Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry Vice-President Georgiy Petrov. 
Gulyakin and Stolyarov said that in each case the parties 
signed memoranda of understanding that were of little 
significance. 
 
3.  (C)  Gono also met with representatives of the company 
Tyazhpromeksport, a large industrial equipment exporter that 
in the past has helped several African governments develop 
industrial projects.  Gulyakin and Stolyarov said 
representatives of the company would pay a reciprocal visit 
to Zimbabwe next month, but no concrete plans had formed. 
Gono and Mushohwe met with representatives of Ilyushin 
Finance to discuss buying five Ilyushin 96-400 planes. 
Gulyakin and Stolyarov were skeptical of the GOZ's ability to 
afford the planes. 
 
4.  (C)  COMMENT:  Moscow's interest in the trade delegation 
was directly proportional to the dubious benefits of 
investment in Zimbabwe.  The GOZ's courting of Russia 
presumably reflects a perception that Russia remains a 
willing partner to governments on unfavorable terms with the 
West. 
BURNS

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